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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

UNDER DEVELOPMENT UNICEF Innocenti's curated library of COVID-19 + Children research

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Intentions to seek mental health services during the COVID-19 pandemic among Chinese pregnant women with probable depression or anxiety: cross-sectional, web-based survey study

AUTHOR(S)
Qian Wang; Bo Song; Jiangli Di (et al.)

Published: February 2021   Journal: JMIR Mental Health
Mental health problems are prevalent among pregnant women, and it is expected that their mental health will worsen during the COVID-19 pandemic. Furthermore, the underutilization of mental health services among pregnant women has been widely documented. This study aimed to identify factors that are associated with pregnant women’s intentions to seek mental health services, it specifically assessed pregnant women who were at risk of mental health problems in mainland China.
Treatment of eating disorders in adolescents during the COVID-19 pandemic: a case series

AUTHOR(S)
Yaffa Serur; Marit Joffe-Milstein; Itai Pessach

Published: February 2021   Journal: Journal of Eating Disorders

Eating disorders (EDs) are among the most difficult psychiatric disorders to treat in normal conditions. They are likely even more difficult to manage in at-risk conditions such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Currently there is limited evidence about the particular needs and recommended treatment of adolescents with EDs during the COVID-19 outbreak, in particular regarding the use of telemedicine and the involvement of the family in long distance-treatment. We sought to discuss the advantages and problems associated with the use of multi-professional long-distance telemedicine treatment in the management of adolescents with EDs and their families during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Transformative learning in early-career child and adolescent psychiatry in the pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Sowmyashree Mayur Kaku; Ana Moscoso; Jordan Sibeoni (et al.)

Published: February 2021   Journal: The Lancet Psychiatry
The COVID-19 pandemic has globally affected the practice of child and adolescent psychiatry, as well as the daily lives of early-career child and adolescent psychiatrists. There have been changes in continuity of care (eg, postponed, cancelled, or online consultations, and few functioning inpatient units, with others becoming COVID-19 units) and the usual work frame (eg, facemasks, physical distancing, and not offering toys). Work shifted to creating standard operating procedures for care with safety precautions; disseminating advice and information about mental health; offering mental health support to frontline workers; and helping with duties outside of child and adolescent psychiatry. As early-career clinicians in child and adolescent psychiatry, we feared potential problems, such as increased risk of child abuse, domestic violence; behavioural crisis or suicide in adolescents who rely mostly on peer support and their social life; diagnostic delays (eg, for neurodevelopmental disorders); and parental burn-out (as the only caregivers). The fear of infection reduced emergency visits, but probably made these at-risk families inaccessible to clinicians.
Refugee children and families during the COVID-19 crisis: a resilience framework for mental health

AUTHOR(S)
Dillon Thomas Browne; Jackson Andrew Smith; Jean de Dieu Basabose

Published: February 2021   Journal: Journal of Refugee Studies
Children and families are undergoing unprecedented stress as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, in part, due to the disruption of daily life arising from mandated social distancing protocols. As such, the purpose of the present report is to raise awareness surrounding resilience-challenging and resilience-promoting factors for refugee children and families during the COVID-19 crisis. Issues surrounding family life, parenting, and potential for family conflict are described. Also, cultural and linguistic factors are discussed, which may limit access to information about the pandemic and, accordingly, uptake of public health recommendations.
Viral time capsule: a global photo-elicitation study of child and adolescent mental health professionals during COVID-19

AUTHOR(S)
Olivia D. Herrington; Ashley Clayton; Laelia Benoit (et al.)

Published: February 2021   Journal: Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health
This paper aims to examine, through photo-elicitation, the personal and professional impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health professionals working with children and adolescents around the globe.
What was the impact of a global pandemic (COVID-19) lockdown period on experiences within an eating disorder service?: a service evaluation of the views of patients, parents/carers and staff

AUTHOR(S)
Hannah Shaw; Sarah Robertson; Nadia Ranceva

Published: January 2021
The World Health Organization declared the outbreak of COVID-19 as a global pandemic on the 11th March 2020. As a result, the UK Government imposed severe restrictions on working and social contact as part of “lockdown.” Whilst the full extent of the pandemic’s impact on eating disorder patients is unknown, the literature suggests that patients with pre-existing mental illness may be more vulnerable to the mental health impacts. In addition, the restrictions greatly reduced the access to mental health services and presented new challenges to service delivery. A service evaluation was carried out to explore how the COVID-19 global pandemic changed service provision in a young person’s eating disorder service and how this affected patient, family and staff experiences.
Conducting CBT for anxiety in children with autism spectrum disorder during COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Carla B. Kalvin; Rebecca P. Jordan; Sonia N. Rowley (et al.)

Published: January 2021   Journal: Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
This commentary describes the transition to remote delivery of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) for anxiety in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) who participates in a clinical trial during the COVID-19 pandemic. The effects of COVID-19 on children’s anxiety and on the family functioning are discussed. Modifications to CBT necessitated by telehealth delivery were aimed at maximizing engagement of children and their parents while maintaining treatment fidelity and adhering to the research protocol. Treatment targets were updated to address new sources of anxiety and CBT exposure exercises were modified to accommodate the new reality of quarantine restrictions. If the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect treatment delivery it may require a widespread utilization of telehealth for treating anxiety in children with ASD.
Increase in suicide following an initial decline during the COVID-19 pandemic in Japan

AUTHOR(S)
Takanao Tanaka; Shohei Okamoto

Published: January 2021   Journal: Nature Human Behaviour (
There is increasing concern that the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic could harm psychological health and exacerbate suicide risk. Here, based on month-level records of suicides covering the entire Japanese population in 1,848 administrative units, this study assessed whether suicide mortality changed during the pandemic. Using difference-in-difference estimation, this study found that monthly suicide rates declined by 14% during the first 5 months of the pandemic (February to June 2020). This could be due to a number of complex reasons, including the government’s generous subsidies, reduced working hours and school closure. By contrast, monthly suicide rates increased by 16% during the second wave (July to October 2020), with a larger increase among females (37%) and children and adolescents (49%).
Relationships with caregivers and mental health outcomes among adolescents living with HIV: a prospective cohort study in South Africa

AUTHOR(S)
Yulia Shenderovich; Mark Boyes; Michelle Degli Esposti (et al.)

Published: January 2021   Journal: BMC Public Health
Mental health problems may impact adherence to anti-retroviral treatment, retention in care, and consequently the survival of adolescents living with HIV. The adolescent-caregiver relationship is an important potential source of resilience. However, there is a lack of longitudinal research in sub-Saharan Africa on which aspects of adolescent-caregiver relationships can promote mental health among adolescents living with HIV. This article draws on a prospective longitudinal cohort study undertaken in South Africa to address this question.
While quarantined: an online parent education and training model for families of children with autism in China

AUTHOR(S)
Seung Eun McDevitt

Published: January 2021   Journal: Research in Developmental Disabilities

In the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, already limited services and resources for families of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in China became even more scarce. This qualitative case study highlights one online parent education and training (PET) program developed during the pandemic to offer home-intervention strategies to parents of children with ASD in mainland China. This exploratory study sought to examine the emic perspectives of the trainers and parents who participated in the 12-week intensive training program while considering the cultural context in China and the transnational, remote nature of the program.

Mental health implication of quarantine and isolation on children and adolescents during Covid-19 outbreak: a narrative review

AUTHOR(S)
Rezky Aulia Yusuf

Published: December 2020   Journal: Jurnal Ners dan Kebidanan Indonesia
Quarantine and isolation are approaches that often used to prevent and control the transmission to the population at risk. These approaches limit the social interaction, confined mobility and daily activities of the pretentious individual. Those complete change to the psychosocial environment and have the potential to threaten the mental health of children and adolescents significantly. This literature review purposed to describe and summarize the available evidence on mental health problems caused by quarantine and isolation on child and adolescent during Covid-19 pandemic. A literature search was conducted using three major database; PubMed, Google scholar and SAGE journals.
Aligning dissemination and implementation science with health policies to improve children’s mental health

AUTHOR(S)
K. E. Hoagwood; J. Spandorfer; R. Peth-Pierce (et al.)

Published: December 2020   Journal: American Psychologist
The prevalence of mental health problems among children (ages 0–21) in the United States remains unacceptably high and, post-COVID-19, is expected to increase dramatically. Decades of psychological knowledge about effective treatments should inform the delivery of better services. Dissemination and implementation (D&I) science has been heralded as a solution to the persistent problem of poor quality services and has, to some extent, improved our understanding of the contexts of delivery systems that implement effective practices. However, there are few studies demonstrating clear, population-level impacts of psychological interventions on children. Momentum is growing among communities, cities, states, and some federal agencies to build “health in all policies” to address broad familial, social, and economic factors known to affect children’s healthy development and mental health.
Caregivers’ mental distress and child health during the COVID-19 outbreak in Japan

AUTHOR(S)
Sayaka Horiuchi; Ryoji Shinohara; Sanae Otawa (et al.)

Published: December 2020
To clarify the physical and mental conditions of children during the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic and consequent social distancing in relation to the mental condition of their caregivers. This internet-based nationwide cross-sectional study was conducted between April 30 and May 13, 2020. The participants were 1,200 caregivers of children aged 3–14 years. Child health issues were categorized into “at least one” or “none” according to caregivers’ perception. Caregivers’ mental status was assessed using the Japanese version of the Kessler Psychological Distress Scale-6.
An analysis of mother stress before and during COVID-19 pandemic: the case of China

AUTHOR(S)
Alain Rodrigue Tchimtchoua Tamo

Published: December 2020   Journal: Health Care for Women International
This study aimed to examine the relations between mothers’ stress (PSI-SF) and their children during the COVID-19 pandemic confinement in mainland China (N  = 274; mean age = 32.95, SD = 5.59). Its analyses revealed mothers identified more stress problems during the confinement than before including Difficult Child, Parental Distress, and Parent-Child Dysfunctional Interaction, which predicted requests for clinical or parents support services. Mothers living in rural areas reported less stress. Single mothers and those in small households displayed a higher level of stress. This research results may assist policymakers, professionals, and researchers to design support needed to promote families’ psychological well-being.
COVID-19’s effect on students: how school counselors rise to the rescue

AUTHOR(S)
Robert Pincus; TeShaunda Hannor-Walker; Leonis S. Wright (et al.)

Published: December 2020   Journal: NASSP Bulletin
The COVID-19 global pandemic has brought about many changes to our society, which will have long-term effects for our youth and adolescents. Due to social isolation and adverse childhood experiences, there are concerns of suicidality, technology addiction, and school safety as schools attempt to transition to a state of normalcy in the months to come. This crisis will require coordinated efforts to assist students in not only getting back on track academically but also in helping students cope with the trauma they have and are continuing to experience. As a result, insights from school counselors can be used to obtain a better understanding of the social and emotional effects of COVID-19 by collaborating with administrators to emphasize using school counselors as a mental health provider in schools. The authors highlight school counselors’ mental health training and their role in combating this issue and provide practical applications that can employed to create a systemic approach for social and emotional prevention and intervention during and after the pandemic.
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UNICEF Innocenti's Children and COVID-19 Library is a database collecting research from around the world on COVID-19 and its impacts on children and adolescents.

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COVID-19 & Children: Rapid Research Response

UNICEF Innocenti is mobilizing a rapid research response in line with UNICEF’s global response to the COVID-19 crisis. The initiatives we’ve begun will provide the broad range of evidence needed to inform our work to scale up rapid assessment, develop urgent mitigating strategies in programming and advocacy, and preparation of interventions to respond to the medium and longer-term consequences of the COVID-19 crisis. The research projects cover a rapid review of evidence, education analysis, and social and economic policies.